Christian Klar’s Statement

In early ‘92 the “Koordinationsgruppe für Terror” which coordinates all intelligence services and institutions of repression in Wiesbaden (it links all the forces which had to be kept separate from each other since the Gestapo) came out with a thing called “the new attitude towards the question of political prisoners”. Ever since the former Minister of Justice (Kinkel) presented this to the public, it is called “Kinkel-Initiative”. And optimism arose about the situation of political prisoners and more generally: The expectation that the criminalization and suppression of the Left and the radical movements in this country would be retracted. Eight months have passed in the meantime. I can’t go into specific questions here. Those who don’t make daily immediate experiences, are at least reading newspapers and watching TV-pictures.

But briefly about the area of jails and trials. The planning of this trial and the following ones is a crucial point. The situation of the political prisoners is the same as it ever was. The refusal of regroupment and the handling of releases (refusing to release even dangerously ill prisoners) is not a new attitude. It is rather a new ambitious calculation with hostages that has developed over the past few months. The rhythm they started now gives them hostage material for the next 10 years.

Does this mean (self) discipline of militant politics over the next 10 years in Germany? Another initiative has become fat at the same time. A “Kinkel-Initiative” again (Kinkel became Foreign Minister in the meantime). But a real one this time. Remaining obstacles were removed in persistent steps to bring the German military forces in a starting position for the coming bloody race among the imperialist powers for a new distribution of global areas of influence [2]. Of course, there is a relationship between these two things. They want to chain the one organization which has gained the most internationalist aura and moral respect in Germany over the past 22 years to the issue of political prisoners in order to pave the way for their rise to world power and to new domination and devastation of european and non-european peoples.

But the western tendency to global policing, the politics of devastation to force more space for a greater position of power and new booms for the lords of the world market and the fact that since Rostock’s pogroms [3] racism has been declared the official state ideology, these developments are bringing me to the view that the newly emerging Left in this country should develop and create its strategy without being impressed by the state’s threat of having political prisoners in its hand.

About the trial here [4]: it is to build upon the done deals with the state witnesses. The judicial meaning is: the state security’s justice system is coming to its old essence again. Everything that makes it run as an instrument to eliminate revolutionary opposition is useful, is right. But there is a more important point. This is the model of western-media-factory, which was used in 1991 to force a consensus by projection of a sham reality into the living rooms of the metropolitan population until the consensus was ready for gulf-intervention. It is the same technique of power in presenting the so-called state’s witnesses. The few criminalistic informations are secondary. The main thing is staging a sham reality for the politics of the state – to appropriate history, so it can not be acquired from below for our future. The apparatus is getting fat from the collaborator. But he can not give anything authentic about his history. He is vanished in the stress of inner defense, of reinsurance and fulfilling of his own contribution to the bargain’s reward.

At last about the money action in Zürich. There would be no need to talk about it if there hadn’t been victims among non-participants.

As a matter of principle it’s justified to get money out of the capital’s safes for the needs of revolutionary movements. So the money is taken out of the circle of exploitation and slavery and brought to just goals.

We are talking about the action to obtain money in downtown Zürich in 1979. The origin of the problems was that the escape from the bank was not prepared well enough. Add a toss-up to the situation, and you get the conditions where an “active” citizen feels empowered to assist the police. Such people guided mobilized police to the RAF-group. Until that nobody was hurt. But two policemen caused the shootings at two different places and in this context one passer-by was killed and a second woman was seriously hurt. But it was different than the monstrous claims of the indictment. There was no intentional shooting from the RAF-group against the lives of civilians and not against the two women in the situation of escape. Based on the available facts it is not certain if the death of the passer-by or the injuring of the car owner was caused by police bullets or by weapons of the RAF-group. Reconstructing the situation later, there were just probabilities concluded from positions of people and directions of fire. But this is not to obscure responsibility. This responsibility exists, because it was our own action. Specifically, when it became impossible to avoid exchanging fire with the police, the guns were used without the necessary carefulness, even with some bad ruthlessness, which must not happen under such circumstances. It is part of the principle of responsibility: if you can not avoid the use of firearms you have to do it in a way that excludes endangering non-participants.

These are essential principles of the revolutionary Left. And it has to be the (self) education of left organizations involved in armed struggle to empower the individuals and the whole group to put these principles to practice.

Christian Klar
Stammheim, September 1992

N.B. All footnotes in this document were added by the editor. None are originally from Christian Klar.

[1] The following text first appeared in Angehörigen-Info #101; it was then translated into English and appeared in the magazine Arm the Spirit. [return to text]

[2] Prior to reunification West German was heavily militarized but with American troops and missiles. Following reunification the German State set about building up regular military forces. [return to text]

[3] In august 1992 there were five nights of violent mass attacks on a refugee center in the town of Rostock in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Over 1,000 people participated in these racist riots under the watchful eyes of the police. They were followed by the German State adopting tighter anti-immigrant legislation. [return to text]

[4] Klar was accused along with Peter-Jürgen Boock of an action to obtain money in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1979. During this action one passer-by was killed and a car-owner was seriously injured. Peter-Jurgen Boock subsequently renounced his ties to the RAF and accused Klar of being responsible for the shootings. [return to text]